NT Fire Starters – Day 189: Acts 20:1-26
READ: Acts 20:1-26
THINK: Most of us have probably joked about dozing off during a long-winded sermon. Some of us have done it. But outside of a little embarrassment, it’s doubtful that any of us have suffered from our slumber as Eutychus did. His experience gives whole new meaning to the concept of “falling asleep” in church. But Paul loved the people and held nothing back from them. No doubt it was difficult to take at times, but it was for their good. And nothing was going to interrupt God’s instructions and encouragement to His people.
RESPOND: Why was encouragement so important to Christians in Paul’s time? Why is it still important among Jesus’ followers? Why did Paul talk so long (v. 7)? If you had been there, how would you have felt for the rest of the night after seeing Eutychus raised to life? What did Paul mean when he said, “I served the Lord with great humility and with tears”? (See 20:19 note.) How is this an example to all followers of Christ? According to this passage, what’s significant about how Paul preached? (See 20:20 note.) How could this have been difficult for the people at times? How was it difficult for Paul? How is his preaching an example to all Christian ministers? If you were in Paul’s place, how would you have felt about going to Jerusalem after the Holy Spirit’s warnings? (See 20:22 and 20:23 note.) Why do you think the Holy Spirit was leading him into this situation and why did the Spirit warn him about what was ahead? What did Paul mean when he said, “I consider my life worth nothing”? (See 20:24 note.) What was Paul’s main concern and why? What did he mean in saying that “I am innocent of the blood of all men”?
PRAY: Ask God for strength to face challenges that will test you spiritually and help you grow closer to and more dependent on God. Ask Him to spend your life as He chooses and to honor himself through you, regardless of the cost.
ACT: Encourage as many people as you can today with your words and actions. Show particular compassion to those who don’t know God and are obviously hurting or living in rebellion against Him. If concern over your own comfort or reputation has kept you from doing or saying something God has been directing you to do, ask God to forgive you. Then put yourself aside and follow God’s direction.